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Business Owners Win: 'Shared Streets' To Be Removed From Northampton

Business owners who disliked Northampton’s new Shared Streets and Spaces initiative have gotten their way.
Business owners who disliked Northampton’s new Shared Streets and Spaces initiative have gotten their way. Photo Credit: City of Northampton

Business owners who disliked Northampton’s new Shared Streets and Spaces initiative have gotten their way.

Northampton will be removing the temporary changes to Main Street that reduced parking in favor of wider sidewalks and more outdoor dining. The redesign included artwork painted on the streets and additional flower pots between Old South Street/State Street and King Street/Pleasant Street.

Monday, Sept. 14, at around 9 p.m., city workers will begin to dismantle the shared streets project - removing barriers, planters, signage, and restoring the street to four lanes of traffic, instead of two.

Business owners that signed a petition seeking for the removal of the Shared Streets project complained that they were left out of the decision-making process, that the reduced traffic lanes made deliveries and pick-ups hard and that parking spaces along Main Street were reduced. About 1,100 people signed the petition. 

The Shared Streets project was up and running for less than a month, but had faced criticism from area business owners from the jump. About 55 business owners had complained to the mayor’s office about the redesign and asked that it be removed.

“Since supporting our vital local businesses and economic recovery was the central goal of this project, I have decided to act quickly on the mixed and negative feedback the installation has received from downtown businesses,” said Northampton Mayor David Narkewicz in a statement. “The debate itself is bad for businesses, and my love for Northampton far outweighs any desire I have to defend this idea.”

Temporary installations that were put in place before the Main Street redesign will stay up in the area of Masonic Street, STrong Avenue, Pearl, and Market streets.

For more information contact the mayor’s office at (413) 587-1249.

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